After two consecutive weekends of copious scoring and massive leads, the Dynamiters squeaked out two one-goal wins this past weekend against the Nelson Leafs and Columbia Valley Rockies.
In their previous four games, there was an average of 9.5 goals contained in each game, 7.25 of those were Dynamiter goals. This past weekend, only eight goals were scored during the two games.
“We weren’t moving our feet on the weekend,” said Dynamiters general manager and head coach Derek Stuart. “If we played like that in the previous four games the outcomes would have been much tighter than they were.
“We definitely did not play good on the weekend … we were opportunistic on our goals [and] we were not generating too many chances … we were lucky to pull out four points.”
On Friday at the Civic Centre, the Leafs opened the scoring with a lucky miscue by the Dynamiters. But it wasn’t until the third period where the Nitros finally took control of the game, backstopped by keeper Mitch Traichevich.
“[Traichevich] was great. After [the first period] miscue, he was excellent.”
Traichevich made 33 saves to keep his team in the game and eventually earn the win over the Leafs. Matt Davies scored the game-winning goal with just over six minutes left in the third.
On Saturday in Invermere, the Rockies took an early 1-0 lead. Again, the Nitros didn’t erupt until the third period forcing overtime, with Chase Miller eventually scoring the overtime winner. Goalie Cody Campbell kept the team competitive and in the game.
“[Campbell] made real big and key saves that could have blown the game open.”
Campbell made 23 stops to keep the Dynamiters within range to eventually pull out the win in overtime.
“Our third periods were our best periods this weekend. With that being said, without our goalies, the games would have been out of reach.”
Even though the Dynamiters got two wins — their fifth and sixth wins in a row — Stuart was not pleased.
“In my opinion, those were bad wins. I know people say a win is a win [but] I don’t agree with that. We can’t keep playing like that or we will lose a lot of hockey.”
“If it wasn’t for our goaltenders in both games, we would have lost both of them. They kept us in it.”
As a result of the victories, and the Creston Valley Thunder Cats finally losing in regulation, the Dynamiters now sit tied for first in the division and the league with the Thunder Cats. The Dynamiters, however, have the slight edge, having earned one more win in the same amount of games as Creston.
“One of our goals is to win our division and secure home ice in the first two [playoff] rounds. It’s nice right now, but it doesn’t do anything for us in the long run.
“It’s nice to be sitting in first as November rolls around, but we want to be in first at the end of the season in February … we have a lot of work to do to fix what happened on the weekend to make sure we don’t play like that again.”
The Dynamiters don’t play a home game until November 15 as they head on another two-weekend road stint.
MATCH STICKS: Nicholas Ketola is suspended for one game after receiving a game misconduct in the last 10 minutes against Columbia Valley. Drew Van den Bosch, Bryce Salverda and Connor Kendall remain sidelined with injuries.